Yeats and the Noh: A Comparative Study

Yeats and the Noh: A Comparative Study

Series: Irish Literary Studies, Book 38
Genres: Drama, Literary Criticism
Tag: Yeats and the Noh
Publication Year: 1990
Length: xviii, 182 pp. +16 illus.
ISBN: 9780861402588

21.6 x 13.8cm. Irish Literary Studies series 38

W.B. Yeats wrote the plays in Four Plays for Dancers (1921) when he was strongly influenced by Japanese Noh theatre, and was searching for some breakthrough in his efforts to promote poetic drama.

Since then, various books have been published on this topic but, with the notable exception of Richard Taylor, no scholar has been able to cope with both Yeats and Noh. Yeats and the Noh started in a small seminar room in University College Dublin, when both authors took part in productions of The Dreaming of the Bones and Nishikigi with their students. Masaru Sekine directed both plays and Christopher Murray performed in them: they were therefore equipped with live experience as well as their personal expertise in Irish literature and Noh drama.

Professor Augustine Martin introduces the volume, and apart from the main section of the book, Colleen Hanrahan, one of the students who took part in both UCD productions, writes about acting in Yeats’s play; Peter Davidson writes about Yeats, Pound, Rummel and Dulac; and Katharine Worth provides an essay on Yeats, Beckett and Noh. There are 16 pages of illustrations.

This volume is unique in providing detailed analysis of contrasts in theatrical aims, as well as examining why man seeks to explore tragic drama as a means of extending the limits of reality.

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